Local Studies: local history and genealogy

The Local Studies collection for the Borough of Swindon can be found on the second floor of Central Library.  The staff will be happy to support you with any local history or family history enquiries.

Since 2010 we have hosted and run the Swindon & District History Network, connecting dozens of local history groups, local historians and heritage institutions.

Opening hours

  • Monday - by appointment only
  • Tuesday - from 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • Wednesday - from 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • Saturday - from 10:00am to 1:00pm

Key resources

  • A comprehensive collection of printed historical material for the Borough of Swindon and the surrounding area.
  • Books, reports, pamphlets, scrapbooks, DVDs, VHS, ephemera – covering all topics.
  • We offer extensive genealogical resources, such as the GRO index of all births, marriages & deaths in England & Wales (1837-1999), the GRO Overseas Index, the International Genealogical Index (LDS) and local census records with surname & street indexes where available.
  • All local parish registers and Bishops Transcripts (from 1538).
  • Free access to premium websites like Ancestry and the British Newspaper Archive.
  • Extensive collection of local periodicals like parish magazines, and journals.
  • This includes staff newsletters for local firms like Austin Rover, British Rail, Garrard, Great Western Railway, Pressed Steel, Will’s Tobacco, and Vickers.
  • We have complete bound runs of Link Magazine, Stratton Outlook and many more.
  • Complete run of all local newspapers, notably the Swindon Evening Advertiser (from 1854), Football Pink (1929-1978), and the North Wilts Herald (from 1861).
  • Complete microfilm run of The Times (from 1785) and free access to The Times Digital.
  • Microfiche and microfilm readers with printing facilities.
  • Electoral rolls for Swindon/Thamesdown (1945 to date) and Poll Books from 1705.
  • Street, trade & telephone directories (including Kelly’s 1848-1939, plus every phone book, Yellow Pages and Thomson’s Directory for the Swindon area).
  • Local author collection including Ralph Bates, Richard Jefferies and Alfred Williams.
  • Extensive collection of local maps (including the earliest Ordnance Survey, GOAD shopping maps, USSR “Red Army” maps, geological and political maps, and street maps).
  • Growing collection of CDs and vinyl (LPs, 7” and 12”) from local Swindon musicians.
  • Our collection is searchable through the main library catalogue.

...and much, much more!

Local Studies photograph collection

You can find our online photographic gallery on Flickr

  • Includes over 5,500 fascinating images and still growing.
  • Most are selected from the Local Studies collection but thousands were kindly shared with us by current and former local residents and local history enthusiasts.
  • Free to view and fully searchable by name, date, place, street or other keyword.

These images are only a small fraction of the main collection which can be viewed in Local Studies.

Local Studies
Swindon Central Library,
Regent Circus,

E-mail: localstudies@swindon.gov.uk
Telephone: (01793) 463238

Please follow us on Twitter (@SwindonLocal) and like us on Facebook (/LocalStudiesSwindon).

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